Skip to main content

tv   This Week With George Stephanopoulos  ABC  December 1, 2013 10:00am-11:01am EST

10:00 am
good morning, and welcome to "this week." deadline drama. >> the website is working better. so, check it out. >> today is the day for the health care website. is it mission accomplished or is obama care beyond repair? all of the breaking details, debate and analysis, plus the political fallout, from our powerhouse roundtable. then, battle of wills. u.s. faces new challenges with china, afghanistan and iran, can america prevail? how will the president manage these multiple crises? an exclusive look at obama's strategy. plus, it's america's game. >> helmet goes flying. >> but on this thanksgiving weekend, new questions about the dangers, should you let your kids play? and bono.
10:01 am
>> there's a chance of having the first aids-free generation. >> our exclusive interview. all that, right here, on this sunday morning. good morning. hope you all had a great thanksgiving weekend. we have a lot to get to this morning. starting with that deadline for obama care. hard to imagine a more shaky launch, we're learning that at one point the white house considered scrapping the site and starting all over again. in a brand-new report, the white house says the website is meeting its goals and working smoothly for the vast majority of users. abc's rebecca jarvis is tracking the story. >> reporter: good morning, george. this is the eight-page report. it says they have now fixed 400 bugs in the system since the launch, 90%, more than 90% of the time, it's working, it's stablem, and they believe at any given moment at time, more than 50,000 users can access the
10:02 am
system. what's still unclear from this report is, what happens if it's a bigger number, if it's 250,000 users at a given moment in time, that's where things stood when the website initially launched and had all of those issues. >> and we also learned, rebecca of another delay in the program. >> the delay is on the small business side. as far as that business mandate goes for small businesses, they will hanow have their mandate delayed for a year. as far as that business mandate goes, they now have their mandate delayed for a year. that individual mandate remains in place if you sign up for health care through the exchange by december 23rd, you should be covered by january 1st. >> i also spoke with the white house official yesterday who said the enrollment numbers are going to come in much stronger than october, the question is, is it good enough? >> that is the question.
10:03 am
because, at the current rate, the rate that we know that this website is running at, if they want to get 7 million people signed up, it will fall short of that number. we're looking at about 1 million people at the current rate signed up in the amot of time they're expecting. that could mean for future issues as far as the mandate is concerned, for people and the cost of their insurance, the pool, if it's primarily dominated by older, sicker members, ultimately those premiums will go by 2015. >> rebecca jarvis, thank you very much. let's bring in tom cole of oklahoma and keith ellison. they're here along with peggy noon noonan, david plouffe, welcome to you all. peggy, we heard those numbers from the white house right now. the question is, will people really going to believe it and then are they going to get engaged with that website now? >> that's a great question. the tonny thing in life, even
10:04 am
programs can get reputations, you can get a sense that something isn't working. i think the obama care problem is two-tier. one is the real problem with the website that has been fascinating and captivating people for two months. beyond that, there is the deeper problem of america discovering what is in the program itself, people losing coverage, the doctor situation, you can't keep them, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. plus, there's something new, orphaned policies, in which people go on to the website, think they have registered and find out in january they haven't quite so. it's so problematic that i have said since october, this thing should just be delayed one year. >> and david, picking up one of the points that peggy said, there's so much focus on the problems, you focus on what the dangers going forward. >> and there are a lot of benefits. seniors saving on prescription drugs.
10:05 am
preventive care being covered for women. but there's a huge interest out there. and i think we ought to fast-forward. by march, 6 million, 7 million people registered for health care. the notion that the republican is -- >> only if there's a rapid increase in the enrollment? >> but you see the interest out there, george, people want health care. they're going to be able to get health care. so, if the website is working, and to your question, we live in a very social world now, they'll talk to their siblings and their friends. this is going to be something that person to person is going to get fixed or not. i think what you're beginning to see, the interest is spiking. the interest is out there. >> how about that point, congressman cole? people are flooding that website. >> well, look, you never get a second chance to make a first impression and the first impression here was terrible. and i think it's going to be an unfolding disaster for the president. there are going to be some winners, there's no question about that, but there are going to be millions of losers.
10:06 am
people are going to be finding out their rates are going up. the individual market is pretty tiny compared to what's yet to come. as that unfolds this thing is going to be an unmitigating political disaster for the president. >> will democrats hold the line or will they continue to support, no more delays? >> i think so. the fact is, we have health care nightmares for the last years, decades, and how people were going bankrupt and how they couldn't get covered. how they were being dropped. we're getting to a point, where, yes, there are a few problems we're working through now, but we can see the end of that era and to a new time where people will be able to get sick and get care and not worry about being dropped or not worry about going bankrupt. >> you identified one of the problems there. you're right, there have been problems with health care as long as there has been health care systems. >> but i'm going to tell you
10:07 am
this, i would rather our hands than the naysayers. this website is technology. it's going to get better. it's already better today. and if you look at the history here, you know, republicans and conservatives, they said social security was socialism, medicare was socialism, all of this kind of proclamations of doom, they're mainstream core programs. >> peggy, one thing you do see is republican governors signing up, accepting the program especially on medicare. michigan signing up, ohio. some big states there. >> lots of people will making decisions based on money and the agreement they can get with the federal government, but let me say something so old-fashioned, i always thought one of the central mistakes here was obsessing on the issue of insurance and not obsessing on the issue of health care.
10:08 am
and making sure everybody who gets in an accident, who doesn't have money, can get treated in america. it seems to me that we had programs that could have broadened, made better. insurance is complicated. we're seeing in this whole website thing, and everything that follows, you can't control that market, it's a big complicated, nutty, messy market. we shouldn't as a government have gone in there. >> peggy noonan, i agree with you. >> happy thanksgiving to you. >> i'm going to tell you right now, i would support medicare for all. but, you know here's the problem, and you got to deal with the system that you have, and there was so much fear, resistance, anxiety around moving to what i think would be a real problem, real solutions people ended up --
10:09 am
>> a bunch of voodoo from business guys. >> single payer. as i talked to democrats in congress, they mostly say this thing hadn't worked. they're not moving to the right, they're moving further to the left. i think that's a big mistake for them. >> clean it up. allow it become less expensive. waste, fraud abuse. show the regard for this system. and then broaden them. >> this program was designed to be implemented by the states. in most of the states that are running this exchange, it's going quite well. you talked about medicaid extension. i think it's fact, it may take until 2017 when this president leaves office extending medicaid. i think it will work really well now. >> that's 2017. it's also a fact that, david plouffe, the public seems to have lost confidence in president obama in both his confidence and for the first time whether he's honest or trustworthy.
10:10 am
how does the president turn that around? what are the keys to rebuilding his profile and his agenda? >> this has been a tough task. it's not just health care. the shutdown affected everybody's confidence in government. let's fast forward to the state of the union and the months after that. the economy continuing to strengthen. i think the president's numbers will recover. i think people's confidence will recover. we have to push congress to do immigration, to do smart things to help the economy. the american people are sitting at home, we're talking about all of these issues, my jobs. >> david, i think the president has a problem. this is what it is. it's simple. he said, if you like your health insurance policy, you can keep it, period. if you like your doctor, you can keep him, period. if you like the hospital you go to, you keep it, period. that has turned out in the past
10:11 am
two months as americans have interfaced with this program to be untrue. and the american people look at the president and they think, he's no dummy. he's a really smart guy, and because he's a smart guy, they think, well, that means he deliberately misled us to get his program through. people don't like that. that is another reputation changer. and i think that's problematic for the president going forward. >> i think he spoke directly to this. i think people accepted what he said. i think people trust this president. i'm confidenin a few years from now, the trust numbers will come up and his approval number will come up. and more than anything else, as we begin to focus hopefully on what really matters to people. >> let me bring that to congressman cole, you saw the president go out to visit some protesters on the mall this week he hasn't given up on speaker boehner.
10:12 am
>> they're disappointed on in one another. >> on the issues particularly on immigration, any hope for that this year? >> not until we get the budget done. literally, i think the most important thing right now is that we don't have a government shutdown. >> do you think it's possible again? >> i don't think it's likely, look, we stumbled into one before that i didn't was wise and should have occurred. the line i usually use, we can't walk and chew gum, let's chew gum for a while. and right now, chewing gum is getting a budget deal and we don't default when the debt ceiling comes out. >> you know, i just want to say i think that the everything the president said and did was in pursuit to get all americans health care, so, i think, even though he may have said, if you like your decent insurance, your insurance that works, then you can keep it, i think people really get that. when -- he owned it. he said, look, if you misunderstood what i was trying to say, i'm sorry about that. i think that shows integrity.
10:13 am
he didn't anything to self-promote. he was trying to help americans all over this country for decades. >> i'm going to disagree with keith here. we knew back in 2009, 2010, that this was going to happen. we made the points and we know now the administration had the documents. people were going to lose health care here. it gets to credibility as well as competence. >> these high-deductible, high-exclusion plans, you know, they weren't quality plans in many cases. in fact, they were for a small -- there's a reason those premiums were low. we'll come back for more roundtable later. but we're going to turn now to national security. the world's biggest power, america's longest war and that emerging nuclear deal with iran all front and center. we have an exclusive interview with president's former national security adviser
10:14 am
tom donilon coming up. but first, here's some background from abc's muhammad lila. >> reporter: one week changes it all. last sunday, news of a historic deal, returning home triumphant. >> this is a win for iranians and for the other countries. >> reporter: in the streets of tehran, we found signs of hope everywhere, from skateboarders who want americans to visit. >> i hope the relation gets better. >> reporter: to teenagers hanging out at a fried chicken joint. but this week, it's back to reality, saudi arabia, america's longtime ally, is nervous about new deal and israel is sending teams to washington to lobby against it. all of this forcing secretary kerry to try reassure congress and allies overseas that the deal is narrow. and in neighboring afghanistan, another foreign policy headache,
10:15 am
the standoff between president karzai and president obama continues, despite a diplomatic full-court press. after 12 years and more than 2,000 american troops killed, karzai is refusing to sign a long-term security deal with the united states. a drone strike this week that reportedly killed a young afghan boy only making tensions worse, if the deal isn't signed, america says it will pull all of its troops out next year. meanwhile off the coast of japan, it's a symbolic fight. take a look at this map. what china calls its new air can defense zone. they need permission. even though the area covers two islands japan claims it owns. it prompted this warning from new ambassador to japan, caroline kennedy. >> unilateral actions undermine security. constitute an attempt to change the status quo in the china sea.
10:16 am
>> reporter: george, when two b-52 bombers entered the air space this week, they scrambled their own fighter jets to intercept it. george? >> thank you very much. let's bring in tom donilon. here for his first sunday interview. welcome to "this week," tom. let's begin with that cat and mouse game going on in china. people look at that and say, why should we care about a couple of inhabitated islands. >> you have mjor powers there, china, korea and japan. china have unilaterally undertaken steps that have increased tensions. most importantly, george, they present the prospect of the possibility of miscalculation in the states. remember, in 2001, we had an incident, you had a fighter pilot killed with a u.s. plane that had to land in china. that miscalculation and mistake that we have to be very careful going forward.
10:17 am
>> when you were the president's national security adviser, you put a lot of energy and time, your personal time, in this so-called pivot to asia, should americans get used to the idea now that china is really our number one rival in the world? >> i'd look at this way, if asia is a principle opportunity for the united states and the world going forward, our prospects and asia's prospects are linked. it's a tremendous opportunity there. and secondly, for 60 years, the united states has provided the security platform on which asia's socioeconomic has been built. it's a critical role for the united states. indeed our decision at the outset of the obama administration that we should put more effort into this. and provide additional effort and security in the region. do a thought experiment. in this instance, if the united
10:18 am
states were not presence, in terms of consulting and coordinating with our allies. having vice president biden talking to chinese. >> leaving today. >> leaving today. you could see tensions rising to a really dangerous level. this has been a longtime role for the united states. >> it seems like the more the president and you try to make this pivot to asia, you're always getting drawn back into the commitments we already have, including afghanistan, back in the news. this week, we saw your successor, susan rice, go over to afghanistan, meet with president karzai, trying to get this long-term security pact signed, now he says he's not going to do it, raising new demands on the united states. the instinctive reaction is fine, if we doesn't want to sign the pact, we'll bring home our troops. >> president karzai should go ahead and sign the agreement. as we sit here this morning, the united states has 51,000 troops in afghanistan. 51,000 troops.
10:19 am
>> but casualties way down. >> casualties way down. we're in the process of withdrawing from afghanistan right now. we hope to accomplish that mission by the end of december 2014. whether there should be support of presence of u.s. troops after 2014 inside afghanistan. >> why should there be? >> well, for a couple of reasons. first of all, president karzai should sign the agreement. it's been approved by a large assembly of leaders. they got together and looked at the proposed agreement with the united states after 2014, and asked -- recommend that president karzai sign it. he should sign it. it's in our interest. that said, his refusal to sign it up to this point is reckless. i also adversely impacts our ability to plan for post 2014. >> fine, if he doesn't sign it, we'll really pull everyone out?
10:20 am
>> at some point, george, it becomes impossible to make those kind of plans. number one. number two, yes, if the united states doesn't have a bilateral security arrangement with afghanistan, that supports its troop presence there, the united states cannot be present in afghanistan after december 31st, 2014. and this has cascading effects. if the united states isn't there, then nato allies won't be there. because they rely on the capabilities the united states provides. we won't have the same kind of support for the afghan national security forces. it's a very big point decision here for the afghans and president karzai. he should go ahead and sign the agreement. if he doubt, america will move towards plans -- by the way, america has a lot of options. >> could that cost all of the gains that have been made in this long war? >> we think, at the end of the day, it will be better to have a continued presence in afghanistan. again, as i said earlier to you, george, the united states has a
10:21 am
lot of options in terms of protecting its allies in the region. >> let's talk about iran. some of president's allies in congress have been quite critical of the deal, it just freezes the iran program, it doesn't cause any rollback. you saw president rouhani of iran, saying iran is absolutely determined to maintain uranium enrichment sites. 100% red line for his government. if they maintain that position, can there be a permanent deal that works with iran? >> no, it's going to be rolled back of the uranium program for there to be a comprehensive deal at the end of the six months of negotiations. the interim steps are quite significant, and i think positive in this way, they freeze the program in place. they roll back portions of the program, especially the 20% enriched uranium.
10:22 am
it provides intensive monitoring and it addresses something that israelis and we have been concerned about. the nuclear reactor. it's a very good foundation, a backdrop to have comprehensive negotiations. very solid achievement by secretary kerry and president obama and the administration. the other thing that it does, george, is this, the israelis and we were concerned -- when you open up negotiations with iranians, they would use those negotiations to advance their program, that's not going to be the case here because everything is frozen in place during this time. >> we have seen that it's created a lot of upset -- not only in israel but also other allies in the middle east, saudi arabia, and it feeds into a general perception, like vladimir putin, like the saudis, that the president has been vacillating and week. how do you respond to that?
10:23 am
>> i don't know how in this case you call the president vacillating and weak. we got here through a u.s.-led, very tough isolation and pressure campaign. the centerpiece of that campaign was sanctions. the sanctions, the toughest put on any country. you wouldn't forced the choice. you wouldn't have had the election of rouhani. the direct line between sanctions, rouhani elected, because we put tremendous pressure on the iranian economy. we isolated iran. so, this is a u.s.-led pressure to bring iran to the table. the test now is, whether the iranians can do they need to do. >> finally, one final question about north korea. we have seen these questions this weekend of merrill newman, 85-year-old korean war veteran detained by the north koreans, they're basically charging him with war crimes, is there any way to deal
10:24 am
with this country? >> what the country should do is release mr. newman as of right now. they have had this political theater and they should release him in the interest of humanitarian gesture, his health and the right thing to do. this is an exceedingly difficult regime to do with. >> tom donilon, thanks very much. when we come back -- the roundtable reacts from two surprise announcements. one from the pope and one from the president. >> so, you may want to stay in washington because of sasha? i don't want to pin you down but i am. later, the growing debate over america's favorite game, is football too dangerous for its own good? [ tires screech ] ♪ [ male announcer ] 1.21 gigawatts. today, that's easy. ge is revolutionizing power. supercharging turbines with advanced hardware and innovative software.
10:25 am
using data predictively to help power entire cities. so the turbines of today... will power us all... into the future. ♪ man: [ laughs ] those look like baby steps now. but they were some pretty good moves. and the best move of all? having the right partner at my side. it's so much better that way. [ male announcer ] have the right partner at your side. consider an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan, insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company. go long. insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company. i'm bethand i'm michelle. and we own the paper cottage. it's a stationery and gifts store. anything we purchase for the per cottage goes on our ink card. so you can manage your business expenses and access them online instantly with the game changing app from ink.
10:26 am
we didn't get into business to spend time managing receipts, that's why we have ink. we like being in business because we like being creative, we like interacting with people. so you have time to focus on the things you love. ink from chase. so you can. look at this truck right now that had some russians seeing red. a giant louis vuton in red square. supposed to hold a charity exhibition. after they rejected the monument, the display was dismantled on friday. that came on the heels after a remarkable manifesto from pope francis this week. our roundtable is going to discuss that, and a lot more, when we come back. ♪
10:27 am
[ daughter ] my dad always talks about the deal he and mom made with me when i was ten. he said, "you get the grades to go to college -- and we'll help out with the school of your choice." well, i got the grades and, with dad's planning and a lot of hard work, i'm graduating today with a degree in marine biology. i'm so thankful and excited about the future. [ male announcer ] for strategies on how to help your family achieve financial success, visit pacificlife.com. on how to help your family achieve financial success, it took a lot of juggling to keep it all together.k. for some low-income families, having broadband internet is a faraway dream.
10:28 am
so we created internet essentials, america's largest low-cost internet adoption program. having the intert at home amerimeans she has to go no ifurther than the kitchen table to do her homework. now, more than one million americans have been connected at home. it makes it so much better to do homework, when you're at home. welcome to what's next. comcastnbcuniversal. there's pope francis this morning at a prayer service in st. peter's square, at the start of this holiday season. it comes on the heels of a remarkable document he released this week. i want to read some excerpts of it first. it's called the joy of the gospel. it talks a lot about our duty to the poor. he comes out of the globalization of indifference. he said that, thou shalt not to an economy of
10:29 am
exclusion and inequality, such an economy kills. how can it be that it is not a news testimony when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure. but it is new when the stock market loses two points. he takes on trickle-down theory. it's never been confirmed by the facts and expresses a crude and naive trust in the goodness of those wielding power. he says, i beg the lord to grant us more politicians who are genuinely disturbed by the state of society, the people, the lives of the poor, it's vital that government leaders and financial leaders take heed and broaden their horizons, working to ensure that all citizens have dignified work, education and health care. peggy noonan, he didn't necessarily change church doctrine but kind of reordered its priorities. >> well, each pope and the way
10:30 am
he speaks about the problems of the world, shows the world his own thinking and his own sense of priorities. this pope, first of all, he continues to fascinate, he excites the imagination of the world, i have never had so many friends, at various sorts and backgrounds, in this city and in washington, say, i love this man so much, i'm considering coming catholic. have you heard that? i'm actually hearing it from people. they're like, wow, can i join? here's -- there are many different ways to approach the pope's paper which is long and which dealt with many things. one of the thoughts i had briefly was this, our modern popes have tended to be european social democrats, they are -- they are -- socialism hasn't upset them. communism has.
10:31 am
they understand the free place. which was very hopeful to them as they -- the cardinals, who became pope resisted the c connumism world. his tradition is different. he may indeed view capitalism with a more jaundice eye. he may be bringing something else which will be revealed in time. >> he wanted to take some of the heat out of the political debates here in the u.s. i was struck, keith ellison, that bishops shouldn't deny communion to those against abortion. >> so much is about our duty to the poor. the key issues in people's lives
10:32 am
every day, can i make enough money to put food on the table? you hear people say, i can't survive on 7.25. and he's speaking to their reality, and it's so thrilling to hear a faith leader, of any faith, muslim, christian, jewish, talk about the real guts of their values in a way that actually should reform policy. >> i wondering if we're seeing, you see some of this on both the left and right. more generally, a real populist energy. >> here, keith and i were in the methodist corner, we're big fans of the pope. i love this. and i think it's a very helpful message in terms of what our obligations are as individuals. on the other hand, i'm also -- i look at capitalism that's generated more wealth and changed more lives for the better than any other economic system. but that doesn't mean there's
10:33 am
not a place in it to regulate it. i see this as a useful corrective. call for us to be better people. >> it's rare, too, i mean, every move this pope has made seems to be the perfect move. it's just rare today. everything that criticizes. everything that this person has done. >> greatest campaign strategy of our time. >> take some lessons from him. >> look at that. we have a minute left. before we leave, i want to show a little bit of president obama's interview with barbara walters where he suggested that he might stay in washington after leaving office. >> she'll be in sophomore in high school. >> so you may want to stay in washington because of sasha? >> let's put it this way, sasha will have a big vote, obviously they and michelle have made a lot of sacrifices on
10:34 am
behalf of my ideas of running for office. i want to make sure it's good for them. >> david plouffe, the president being a good father and a good husband right therre, is it realistic, to be the first president since woodrow wilson, to stay in washington? >> you have to do right by your kids. i think most presidents want to escape washington after their second term. by the way, it's a good thing that he won re-election, he might have had six years in washington as a former president. >> wilson was ill. he had a stroke or a series of strokes, he was not well, he moved a few blocks from the white house. in general, it's very good when the presidents arrive from a real american place, and it's very good when they get their job done to leave and get home. go home to the real american place. harry truman did. reagan did. >> i'm really glad that the president did that. because that's a part of him
10:35 am
that americans need to see, he's a wonderful father. when he was in moore, oklahoma, during the tornadoes we talked about how difficult it is to be president of united states. he made the point, the only good thing about my job, i know that neither of my daughters will get in a car with a drunk driver. he thinks about that. >> george, i love it when the president reveals that he's a regular person. he's in anxiety over some of the issues he's facing right now. i believe that he has the ability and persistence to push this thing through and help realize the vision that pope francis is talking about. >> three more years left, of course, in the white house. thank you all, great roundtable. and coming up, did you see this incredible end to last night's auburn/alabama game. no time left on the clock. auburn returned this missed field goal 109 yards. huge upset over the crimson tide. already being called the best
10:36 am
finish ever in college football. what a win last night. the fans crowd the field. it comes at a time, where football is facing more questions about safety. we'll talk about that with our expert panel. the controversy over concussions, next. hi. i'm henry winkler.
10:37 am
and i know there are many myths out there about a reverse mortgage, so i want you to know the facts. there are currently no credit score or income requirements to qualify. you can get tax-free money from the equity in your home. you can use the money to pay off your current mortgage if you have one. the remaining money can be used for anything. there's no monthly mortgage paymts. and you still own your home! call today to get your free guide and dvd. it explains how a government-insured reverse mortgage works.
10:38 am
there's no obligation. one reverse mortgage is a quicken loans company. their licensed experts can answer all your questions. call to find out what a great solution this can be. don't wait, call now! when we come back -- after a record settlement for brain damage to pro football players, is more change on the way for the nfl? is tackle football too dangerous for kids? our panel of experts weighs in. dangerous for kids? our panel of experts weighs in. i get bonuses even working part-time. where i work, over 400 people are promoted every day. healthcare starting under $40 a month. i got education benefits. i work at walmart. i'm a pharmacist.
10:39 am
sales associate. i manage produce. i work in logistics. there's more to walmart than you think. vo: opportunity. that's the real walmart. i'm bethand i'm michelle. and we own the paper cottage. it's a stationery and gifts store. anything we purchase for the paper cottage goes on our ink card. so you can manage your business expenses and access them online instantly with the game changing app from ink. we didn't get into business to spend time managing receipts, that's why we have ink. we like being in business because we like being creative, we like interacting with people. so you have time to focus on the things you love. ink from chase. so you can.
10:40 am
10:41 am
losing thrusters. i need more power. give me more power! [ mainframe ] located. ge deep-sea fuel technology. a 50,000-pound, ingeniously wired machine that optimizes raw data to help safely discover and maximize resources in extreme conditions. oururrent situation seems rather extreme. why can't we maximize our... ready. ♪ brilliant. let's get out of here. warp speed. ♪ bell swings to the outside, helmet goes flying, but he's in for the touchdown! >> i thought he had possession crossing the line. at least. >> look at that punishing play
10:42 am
on thursday. as more nfl stars diagnosed with permanent brain disease. has sparked so many more questions about football. at a time where the nfl is more popular and profitable than ever now. a panel of experts to take on that debate. here's dr. richard besser with a closer look at the science, safety and possible solutions. >> steelers backing off, playing zone. what a hit! >> reporter: football fans live for brutal blows. look at james harrison. >> and a very serious hit james harrison lays out. >> reporter: morgan cox. and that one was a knockout. literally. >> and let's hope that chris was okay. >> reporter: what thrills the fans may be what dooms the sport. are we looking at the end of football? memory loss, depression and dementia. former players like jimmy mcmahon, are saying what's good for football in its current form is lethal for the brain. damaged pros compare cte to
10:43 am
degenerative brain disease. on espn radio, quarterback brett favre said that he's losing his family. >> it's shocking to me that i couldn't remember my daughter playing youth soccer. >> reporter: a former new york giant said that he complicated suicide. >> i was so depressed. accelerating and driving through the guardrail and just going over. >> reporter: it turns out the future of football may rest on this woman, she's a walking contradiction. she's a die-hard packers fan. in love with a sport that can physically devastate players. >> you get spots, spots, that's really typical of this disease. >> reporter: alzheimer's doesn't look like this? >> no. i see tragic stories under the microscopes, i have seen kids
10:44 am
who have died in their teens with early stages of this die seize. >> reporter: the question that i face as a pediatrician and when my kids wanted to play football, is the danger of concussions so high that doctors and parents should forbid it, can this sport be saved? >> i don't know. i just don't know. >> reporter: i went to a practice in the heart of football country, athens, georgia, one of the many places that football players barely come up to my knees. >> oddily enough, we're coming in kind of late. so, midgets start at 4. >> reporter: 4-year-olds playing football. a few weeks the nation's largest youth football association announced that participation has dropped 10% between 2010 to 2012. i want to hear a strong argument in support of the game, mark richt. a father of four.
10:45 am
you have to wonder, is it a safe sport for our kids? >> i think our kids are soft. i don't think they're very tough. i think that's a little bit scary. because there are some things that come up in life that are tough and you have to be able to handle it. >> reporter: but his own team, is doing concussion research, right on the field. >> you'll see it on the screen. >> yeah. >> give it a hit. >> using cutting-edge devices that might identify the forces that cause concussions so they can prevent them, that might help. coach richt supports the research. >> i think all of these things being designed to help us understand more about concussions and those types of injuries, i think the better off we'll be. >> reporter: the keys are education and independence. if he thinks a player needs to sit out the player is out, regardless of what the coach thinks. >> we sit down with every athlete in every sport and talk about the symptoms of concussion.
10:46 am
if they have them, they can recognize them and seek help. >> reporter: have you seen any change over time in players reporting a concussion or the signs of a concussion on their own? >> a great example last year, in the fall, georgia football, we had nine concussions. five of them self-reported. >> reporter: then i talked to some of the players. if you had a concussion, would you pull yourself out of the game? >> if i had a concussion, probably not. >> first day of football, guarantee three concussions. you're going to get how many ever degrees. i'm saying absolutely. >> reporter: you'll take it. >> that's not a bad deal at all. >> and dr. besser joins us now along with joe delambielleure. mark fainaru-wada. and christine brennan. welcome to you all. joe, let me begin with you, you're wearing that hall of fame
10:47 am
jacket. i saw your hall of fame speech, it was clear when you were giving that speech, football was always wanted to do. but, now, you have been diagnosed with cte. you say that you're part of forgotten generation of football players, do you feel betrayed by the nfl? >> i feel betrayed by the nfl and the union because we have no health insurance, that's a problem. for the guys who played before '93, we have subpoverty nsions and no health insurance. that's a problem. >> and even though there has been this multimillion-dollar settlement, $765 billion, designed to help players who have been injured. >> they have at will of programs, but they're hard to access and players, let's face it, we're all over 60. how many guys go on the internet? we're scattered all over the country with a union that's never helped us, the pre-'93 guys. once you're done, you're done with the union. >> you do make the point.
10:48 am
these pre-'93 guys, you're talking about completely different world in terms of pay. >> i was the number one pick. my salary was 24,000, 30,000. nothing guaranteed. >> 30,000 a year? >> yes. we played on natural turf was torn up. i have hearing loss in my left ear. there's no more blocks, no more wage. there used to be the suicide squat on special teams. they just changed that to special teams. >> and mark, you have done a lot of work, of course, looking at the league and how the league dealt with all of this, even this settlement, not going to go far enough for so many of the players? >> well, i think there are real questions. we're talking about $760 million. there are real questions whether there's even enough money there. you have a lot of players suffering, while we have done reporting on this. players wondering if in the end, is the money going to step up? players who are going to opt out of the settlement.
10:49 am
lot of these guys feel very betrayed by the league's denial for two decades. i think now, as they try to get information about this settlement, it's really hard to come by, you have lawyers and players who are really frustrated not getting any answers. we're now in week 12 and there are virtually no details about this settlement at this point. >> christine, how much the league really knew and should have known for so long? >> george, when they agreed to that settlement, the nfl didn't disclose what it knew and when it knew it. that would be valuable information. mark did this great reporting on this, you have this situation where it's over, right? $750 million paid out. but, then, the news comes out about joe and about tony dorsett, and brett favre, and i think what we're seeing
10:50 am
here, is the fact that this story is not going away and it will continue to be a part of our conversation as it should be, i think. >> and there's only about $10 million in this for research. it's pretty hard to deny the basic facts, though. >> yeah, the concern i have in that settlement there's no admission that there is a problem with football. and if there's no admission of that, and you're only putting $10 million into research, how are you going to know that this sport could be made safe enough? that we still want to watch it and it will not do this. and what about below the nfl level, as we're seeing in the piece, these kids playing in college ball aren't going to own up that they had a concussion. they're going to go out and have it. if that's happening time and time again, are they going to be experiencing the same thing that pro players are? >> joe, your son played college football at duke, are there any changes in the game that could
10:51 am
sort of solve the riddle that makes it safer? >> i think there's tremendous changes in the game. no head slaps. there are lot of rule changes for the better of the game. so, i think they're doing the right thing, but for them to continue to do the right thing, they have to make it better for the guys who created this monstrosity of a league and they just don't do it. they're always negative. >> think the nfl is ready to go farther? >> well, i think there are two issues. there's the league itself and what nfl football is going to look like. we don't want it to changed. it's a brutal violent sport. we're all talking about that auburn finish. this is the sport. but you did have for two decades, what did the nfl know and when. i think we trace that in the book, quite frankly. they have known for two decades
10:52 am
this issue is there, and while the commissioner and the league are making moves forward on this issue to mitigate it, at the same time, when the commissioner is asked now, is there a length between football and brain damage, we're going to let the doctors decide this. >> wants to do right? >> roger goodell has daughters who play lacrosse, and let's face the facts here, yes we're talking about football, let's move my boy or girl out of that sport, soccer, girl's soccer, the risk is huge. whether it's soccer, ice hockey, baseball, softball, girls are much more likely to have concussions than boys. and that risk is there. you leave football. we're done with football. the risk exists in so many other sports. but, i do think there is a question, what will football look like 20, 30 years from now? and we don't know. >> thank you all very much. we'll be right back with
10:53 am
bono the u2 superstar. on this 25th world aids day, he has the startling message of hope. that's next. has the startling message of hope. that's next.
10:54 am
that red ribbon on the north lawn of the white house marks today's 25th anniversary of world aids day. in those 25 years, billions have been spent on the fight against aids with so much help from u2's bono. and an army of act visits. just this week,
10:55 am
the star helped $26 million in an auction for the red campaign at sotheby's. that's where we sat down for our "sunday spotlight." where we talked about a world without aids. world aids day 2013. and the end truly is in sight. >> yes, it is. there's jeopardy. there really is. it does seem to be the political will of the american people have said that this fight against hiv, this tiny little virus that's wreaked so much havoc in so many people's lives, 4 -- 34 million dead. they want to see it done. >> in a rare display of bipartisanship, republicans and democrats came together last month to fund an american program started by president bush. >> we argued with president bush about setting it up. we thought, why not stick with the global fund. he said, no, we want to do it yourself.
10:56 am
we sort of disagreed with him on that. but they actually worked well together. republicans, historically, supported it. and democrats, the global fund. that has changed. we found ourselves as democrats going in, what about support for the global fund? but it's doing so well. wow, this is incredible. this is what happens when people put their ego and political points away for a bigger purpose and they stop playing politics. >> the closer you get to the finish line the more difficult it can be. >> we're very worried about complacency. there's a chance of having the first aids-free generation by 2015. we can see it. we can lose that if we lose the political will. >> so, a new battle has begun to keep up the stunning progress in a fight at one point seemed
10:57 am
lost. >> these cost a fortune, 10 grand a year. 40 cents a day for one pill. we forget how dramatic it was here in the united states and in europe. >> and then, when you go to africa, you go to india, there was a concern, not too long ago, that an entire generation would be wiped out. >> i remember being in malawi, where there was four to a bed, queuing up, to be diagnosed but the diagnosis was a death sentence because there was no treatment. they had the medications but they couldn't give it to them. they couldn't afford it. and it actually really, was sort of an assault on my whole idea of equality. i thought an accident of where you live cannot decide whether you live. i'm ready to put my life on the line for that. we can't be denying them to others. it's amazing.
10:58 am
it's happened now. i think about it. i'm so excited. >> progress is so stunning. our thanks to bono. some welcome news from afghanistan this week as well, pentagon did not announce any death of service members overseas. check out "world news" with that's all for us. thank you for sharing part of your thanksgiving weekend with us. check out "world news" with david muir tonight and i'll see you tomorrow on "good morning america." [ male announcer ] give yourself the ultimate holiday gift!
10:59 am
11:00 am
now get the fios triple play for just $79.99 a month online, guaranteed for the first year, plus get a $300 holiday bonus with a 2-year agrereement. this is the year to get america's fastest, most reliable internet and get an amazing deal that fits your holiday budget. hurry. this offer won't ast! visit verizon.com/holidayoffer to give yourself the ultimate technology gift today. call the verizon center for customers with disabilities at 800-974-6006 tty/v.

219 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on